SSTA Members Bulletin – November 2019

SNCT Career Pathways Working Groups
Three SNCT working groups have been established to develop the recommendations in the Career Pathway Report with SSTA represented on all groups.

  1. Career pathway established for specialist roles in curricular, pedagogical and policy delivery through the creation of a new post of Lead Teacher.
  2. Career pathways for Headteachers within and beyond Headship should be recognised including new opportunities in system leadership.
  3. A national model for sabbaticals should be developed for all teachers, including Headteachers that is both attractive and sustainable.

      Reports on the progress of working groups will follow during the year.

Secondary Teachers in Primary Sector
Members have been contacting Head Office asking for guidance regarding Secondary Teachers being required to teach in the primary sector. The GTCS and COSLA wrote to local authority employers on 9 October 2019 and helpfully clarified the situation. In summary, the letter states that the position of GTCS and COSLA is:

  • All teachers in Scotland must be GTCS registered.
  • GTCS subdivides its registration categories into Primary, Secondary (subject specific) and Further Education as a way of ensuring professional standards are maintained.
  • Primary school registered teachers are to be employed in the primary sector, Secondary registered teachers are to be employed in their registered secondary school category.
  • Teachers in specialist support roles are not affected by the above general requirement.
  • Secondary teachers may occasionally provide temporary cover in secondary subjects for which they are not qualified.
  • Teachers who have expertise in one subject or sector may share that expertise with teachers in another sector.  This should be a temporary measure and not permanent deployment. 
  • A teacher deployed in a teaching post for which they are not suitably registered would not be suitably qualified.

SSTA advice is that secondary teachers:

  • should not be deployed or timetabled to teach classes in the primary sector, although they may occasionally and temporarily share expertise. 
  • should be employed and timetabled to teach only subjects in which they are qualified, unless they are employed in a specialist support role.
  • should not be used to provide cover for primary classes. 

Dementia Awareness 
This short course organised through the Scottish Union Learning will provide an understanding of Dementia in the workplace, the home and in the community. Dementia is an umbrella term for a range of progressive conditions that affect the brain. There are over 200 subtypes of dementia. This course will provide a greater understanding of dementia and will help members support colleagues in schools. There are a small number of places available for the forthcoming course on 19 November in Dundee. Click hereto reserve a place on the course.
Teachers’ Pension – New Entrants
As a member of the Scottish Teachers’ Pension Scheme 2015, you can take your benefits in full when you reach your State Pension age. You can, of course, retire before you reach State Pension age but if you do, your pension will be reduced for early payment. However, if you plan to retire after your 65th birthday but before your State Pension age, you can elect to pay extra contributions that reduce, or remove, this reduction. To benefit from the early retirement reduction buyout (ERRBO), you must still be paying into the scheme when you retire and your State Pension age must be over 65.
For example if you have a normal pension age of 68 you could buy out the reduction for three years and retire at 65. Alternatively, you could buy one year or two years and retire at 67 or 66 respectively. Early retirement reduction buyout elections must be made within six months of joining the Teachers’ 2015 scheme for it to be effective from your first year in the scheme. If you don't apply within your first six months of joining the scheme, your application will only be effective from the beginning of the following financial year. Further information

Post of Professional Officer
The SSTA is seeking to recruit a Professional Officer (Part-Time 0.6 FTE). The advert for the post can be viewed on the SSTA website.  The Person Specification and Application Form can be requested by completing a form on the website. The closing date for applications is Friday 6 December (12.00noon).